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How to Join Games

Once you have read the beginner's guide, you can join a game with the H-Group.

The group is comprised of around 100 people, some of whom play regularly, and some of whom play rarely, with a good mix of beginners, intermediate players, and experts. But not to worry - the intermediate and expert players are usually willing to do "beginner-level" games with all of the advanced stuff "turned off".

The H-Group plays games on the Hanab Live website and use the Discord server for voice chat. Here is a short list of things that you can do to prepare.


  1. Create an account at Hanab Live and login.

  2. Hanab Live is used by many people, not just members of the H-Group, so there are always ongoing games. Choose a random ongoing game and spectate it so that you can start to get familiar with the user interface. Alternatively, you could also play a test game with yourself (where you control both of the players). You can do that by using a private/incognito window and logging into a separate test account.

  3. Create a Discord account and login to the Hanabi Discord server.

  4. Even though you can access the Discord server in a browser, it is not very good, because it does not support a global push-to-talk hotkey. So, download and install the Discord desktop client.

  5. Test your microphone to make sure that it works:

    • Click the gear icon for "User Settings" in the bottom-left-hand-corner.
    • Click on "Voice & Video" under "App Settings" in the left-hand menu.
    • Click on the "Output Device" drop-down and set it to be your microphone.
    • Click on the "Let's Check" button under "Mic Test".
    • You should see the bars fill up when you talk. If not, then try changing your "Output Device".
  6. Enable a push to talk hotkey:

    • Click the gear icon for "User Settings" in the bottom-left-hand-corner.
    • Click on "Voice & Video" under "App Settings" in the left-hand menu.
    • Select the "Push to Talk" checkbox under "Input Mode".
    • Click on the "Shortcut" box and press the button on your keyboard that you want to use to enable push-to-talk. (I use left Ctrl, but you can use any key that you want.)
    • You will have to press this button in order for Discord to transmit your microphone, so make sure to press it whenever you are talking.
    • Please use earbuds or a headset to avoid talk-back (e.g. when people's voices come out of your speakers and get re-transmitted through your microphone).
  7. By default, the Discord client comes with some annoying sound effects turned on. Disable them:

    • Click the gear icon for "User Settings" in the bottom-left-hand-corner.
    • Click on "Notifications" under "App Settings" in the left-hand menu.
    • Scroll down and turn off the toggle-sliders for "PTT Activate" and "PTT Deactivate".

Joining a Game

The H-Group usually has games going every day. You can see if there are any H-Group members currently playing by looking at the Discord voice channels along the left side of the screen ("H-Group 1", "H-Group 2", "Teaching/Beginner Games", etc.).

If it's your first time and you don't know anybody else, you can ping the @Trusted Teacher role in Discord. While everyone will generally play with beginners, Trusted Teachers are people who have volunteered to go above and beyond in showing beginners the ropes.

Otherwise, if there are people currently playing, then the typical thing to do is to join the voice channel with the others (by clicking on e.g. "H-Group 1"), wait for the current game to end, and then hop into the next game after that (depending on how many people stick around).

Here are a few things to note about joining pick-up games:

  • In the H-Group, after every game we play, we do a post-game review so that we can find the best moves for every turn and have everyone learn from their mistakes. So before you can hop into the next game, you will have to wait for both the game to finish and the post-game review to finish. We try to keep the post-game reviews short, but if an interesting situation happens or a discussion gets heated, then it might take a while. ;)
  • If there are 6 or more players remaining after the post-game review is finished, then we usually split into two separate groups of 3.
  • Don't worry - it is not considered rude to join a voice channel and listen in on an ongoing game or post-game review. If someone asks who you are, feel free to introduce yourself. Otherwise, wait until the end of the review to introduce yourself, and then hop into the next game.
  • Additionally, make sure to inquire if there are other beginners in the voice channel. If there are beginners, then the group is probably already playing "level-1-conventions-only" or "beginner" games, which is what you want. If not, kindly request that since you are a beginner, the group plays with "level-1-conventions-only". In most cases, intermediate and expert players will be happy to do this.